Situating the Uyghurs Between China and Central Asia (2007)

By Ildikó Bellér-Hann, M. Cristina Cesàro, Joanne Smith Finley


Drawing together distinguished international scholars, this volume offers a unique insight into the social and cultural hybridity of the Uyghurs. It bridges a gap in our understanding of this group, an officially recognized minority mainly inhabiting the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, with significant populations also living in the Central Asian states. The volume is comparative and interdisciplinary in focus: historical chapters explore the deeper problems of Uyghur identity which underpin the contemporary political situation; and sociological and anthropological comparisons of a range of practices from music culture to life-cycle rituals illustrate the dual, fused nature of contemporary Uyghur social and cultural identities. Contributions by ‘local’ Uyghur authors working within Xinjiang also demonstrate the possibilities for Uyghur advocacy in social and cultural policy-making, even within the current political climate.

Here are some reviews of the book by Pawan (2009) and Gammer (2009). And you can read parts of the book on Google Books.


Part 1

The Historical Perspective: ‘Us and them’ in 18th and 19th century Xinjiang, Laura J. Newby

The Uyghurs as a part of Central Asian commonality: Soviet historiography on the Uyghurs, Ablet Kamalov

Part 2

Uyghur Culture: Issues of Music, Literature and Language: Cultural politics and the pragmatics of resistance: reflexive discourses on culture and history, Nathan Light

Situating the 12 Muqam: between the Arab world and the Tang court, Rachel Harris

Uyghur literary representations of Xinjiang realities, Michael Friederich

Hybrid name culture in Xinjiang: problems surrounding Uyghur name/surname practices and their reform, Asod Sulayman

Part 3

Socio-Cultural Practices: Situating Uyghur life cycle rituals between China and Central Asia, Ildiko Beller-Hann

Shrine pilgrimage and sustainable tourism among the Uyghurs: Central Asian ritual traditions in the context of China’s development policies, Rahila Dawut

The emergence of Muslim reformism in contemporary Xinjiang: implications for the Uyghurs’ positioning between a Central Asian and Chinese context, Edmund Waite

Part 4

Negotiation of Multiple and Hybrid Uyghur Identities: Polo, LAghmAn, So SAy: situating Uyghur food between Central Asia and China, M. Cristina Cesaro

‘The dawn of the East’: a portrait of a Uyghur community between China and Kazakhstan, Sean R. Roberts

‘Ethnic anomaly’ or modern Uyghur survivor? A case study of the Minkaohan hybrid identity in Xinjiang, Joanne Smith Finley


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